Surrey League Wimbledon 2018








On an afternoon of torrential, unrelenting rain on Wimbledon Common, Kent AC’s major bright spot from the second fixture was the tremendous performance of Alex Yee.  Alex really showed what a class act he is, soon to the fore in a frantic start, then building a considerable lead that he was to hold for the entire race. In the early stages a chasing pack tried to bridge the gap, most notably Belgrave’s Nick Goolab, but it was to no avail. Alex strode majestically to a very comfortable victory.  However, running a carefully controlled race it was our own Owen Hind who won the race for second in convincing fashion. And whilst I’ve said that Alex’s run was the bright spot for the club, Owen’s run also deserves considerable praise. The word from Ken, and the training group, was that Owen was going well and, on the day, he certainly provided ample proof of that.

In the team stakes we again had to give best to Hercules Wimbledon and, on this occasion, the margin was considerably more than the first fixture. Their packing in this fixture was even better than it had been at Richmond. After the outstanding runs from Alex and Owen, we had to wait until Ross Braden came home in (18th).  Ross was making his debut for us as a second claimer and it was an impressive one. Ross regularly trains at Ladywell so knows our guys well. It was undoubtedly a good run, but it seems it could have been even better. He turned his ankle close to home and that meant losing a few places in the run in. Then not far behind Ross was another 2nd claimer, Chris McGuirk. Chris has been running well in our colours for a number of seasons, but partly because we’ve often had big hitters representing us, Chris has sometimes just missed out.  However, here, his strong run put him ahead of some very good runners. A bit down from the heights of his Richmond run, Tom Mower was fifth scorer in (25th) Maybe it just wasn’t Tom’s day. Virtually coming in with Tom was Chris Greenwood (26th). He’d been hampered by a nagging injury at Richmond but felt things had gone better for him in this highly competitive field.

Just behind Chris was our regular second claimer Nick Torry. Today, with Chris McGuirk running so well, Nick didn’t score for us – a rare event. However, as the father of young twins he’s maybe not running the miles he was, but more particularly with the rain and poor visibility the course must have been a nightmare for him. As most people will know, Nick normally wears a serious pair of specs but in the dreadful conditions they couldn’t be worn.

Our next scorer after Chris Greenwood was Jordan Weaver in (29th) Whilst inside the top thirty in this field is good going, on the basis of some of his PB’s on the track this summer it might have been anticipated that he would have perhaps been a little higher. However, he hasn’t raced for quite a while and with a few more races behind him it wouldn’t be a surprise if he’s a fair few places higher at the next fixture. On the eve of the race Stuart Beaney paid tribute to John Gilbert and how much his presence means to those running with him. I won’t spare his blushes here either. Initially people might think – 34th John Gilbert what happened. But this has to be seen very much in context. When you consider he is some way off fitness and running with an injury it again shows the character of the guy – it speaks volumes that he’s prepared to do this.  Just squeezing inside fifty was Dame (49th) who of course featured right at the front in the early stages.  Closing the team in, having a much better run than at Richmond was track man, Ben Harding (54th).

Another big plus point from this race was the run of debutant, Alex Dudney.   A youngster by Kent AC standards, Alex is a product of the Bromley Parkrun. As we know a few diamonds have been unearthed by Parkrun, and Alex looks as though he may have the potential to be another. He finished amongst some very good club runners. I’ve mentioned John’s sterling effort, but another to go above and beyond the call of duty was Dan Ansell. Dan’s had an issue that warranted a spell in hospital recently. As a result, he’s had to wear splints on his arms which he had to wear in the race. It would be bad enough to run on a flat service, but in the brutal conditions! – much respect Dan.

There’s a bit of a gap before the next league fixture but plenty of running to be had in between. The two South of the Thames races feature and traditionally they are races we do well in.

Team result: H/W 148; 2 Kent AC 259; 3 THH 371; 4 GG 438; 5 SLH 462; 6 HHH 493; 7 Bel 525; 8 Ran 568; 9 SOC 831.

Overall Standings:  1 HW 331; 2 Kent AC 472; 3 THH 718; 4 GG 823; 5 HHH 980; 6 Bel 991; 7 SLH 1040; 8 Ran 1183; 9 SOC 1652

For full results see Surrey League site

In addition, big congratulations must go to the four men who had such terrific runs in the New York Marathon, the previous Sunday. Pete Lighting 2:28:41, Sean Fitzpatrick 2:28:43, Lawrence Avery 2:29:47 and Jonathan Tipper 2:31:22. Quite a team!



Between the deluge the night before and the torrential rain in the afternoon for the men’s race the women enjoyed a surprisingly sunny morning for round two of the Surrey League at Nonsuch Park on November 10th.  The course was 2 laps accounting for just over 6k around the park. It was muddy in patches with a few opportunities to practice jumping across ditches!

There were unfortunately a few Kent drop outs during the race due to illness (thankfully no injuries!). 245 women overall completed the race.  Scoring for the Kent A team were Katie Rowland with a fantastic 12th place in a high-quality field (including Mara Yamauchi who finished in 14th).  Following on from her was Isabel Bradley (31st) who is having a great start to the season, always quality performer Sarah Hanley (43rd), Georgina Wiley (64th) and Laura McCrave (74th) in her first XC race of the season and enjoying some great fitness.
After the second round and only halfway the Kent A team are sitting 12th on the ladder with a total of 305 points.  The Women’s B team is sitting in 26th position with 720 points.
To echo the men’s congratulations a big one as well to Teresa Murphy who ran 3.02.07 at New York coming in 98th overall and 3rd United Kingdom runner.